Nothing beats an old-fashioned Southern funeral. They have all the elements: laughter, tears, good stories, good music and enough fried chicken to make all 10 fingers greasy.
Mix in a dose of college sports and you have an event that makes the congregation beg for one more memory before the benediction is spoken.
Friday morning we paid tribute to Columbus State University's Herbert Greene, and I remembered other coaches and other funerals.
I was there when Auburn buried Shug Jordan in a traditional Episcopalian service that had little pomp and poetry.
At Bear Bryant's funeral our private plane was rerouted to Birmingham and while waiting for his procession to roll up I-59 we watched the service on TV live from Tuscaloosa.
I went to Alexander Memorial Coliseum for Bobby Dodd's memorial where former Georgia Tech basketball player Josh Powell made manly football players weep with his rendition of "How Great Thou Art."
I attended humble services for Whack Hyder, who coached basketball at Georgia Tech before ESPN put too much air in the ball.
Herbert's service blended faith, family and basketball. It was at the Lumpkin Center, an arena he built one brick at a time. The trophy case was stacked with awards and nets his players had cut down. His body was at mid-court on a floor named for him.
I glanced to courtside where he did his dance and remembered moments when Herbert screamed at referees like Poochie Hartsfield and nights favorite adversaries came to town. Oh, how he loved to beat that mean old Jerry Waters.
His pastors, Howard White and Lynn Meadows-White, shared the gospel and left the play-by-play to Scott Miller, the voice of the Cougars when Herbert arrived and when he retired. They traveled together so long that it was hard to tell which one of them whined about bad officiating the most.
Scott loved that man so he didn't want to be there, but the job he did was masterful. By the time he was done we thought we were by our radio listening to the final seesawing seconds of an overtime game.
Scott is an unabashed homer. He pulls for the Cougars and never apologizes for it. When a game gets tight, he implores listeners to find their lucky spot.
"And on Monday night," he said. "Herbert found his ultimate lucky spot."
-- Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.